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Tri-Town Coaltion meets: Housing ambassadors trained to teach community about affordable housing

MILLERTON — As a way to advocate for affordable housing and offer community members a program to obtain the tools needed to help solve the region’s housing crisis, the Millerton-North East working group of the Tri-Town Coalition (TTC) affordable housing organization highlighted the Housing Ambassador Training Program (HATP) that will be made available this fall.

The HATP was discussed at the TTC’s meeting on Tuesday, Sept. 14, held at 7 p.m. both in-person at the NorthEast-Millerton Library Annex and via Zoom.

TTC member Sam Busselle explained the ambassador program focuses on advocacy for affordable housing and is funded by the Berkshire Taconic Community Foundation (BTCF) through Hudson River Housing.

He said it’s crucial for trainees to be directly connected to the Tri-Town area of northeastern Dutchess County: Millerton/North East, Amenia and Pine Plains.

TTC member Nathan Briggs said the program training will be conducted by Regional Plan Association (RPA) Vice President Melissa Kaplan-Macey and RPA staff.

Beginning Thursday, Oct. 28, the program will include three virtual sessions done once a month.

The first training will focus on vocabulary, including how community members define affordable housing.

The second training will focus on data, including how communities benefit from affordable housing.

The third training will focus on tools, including what communities can do to solve the housing crisis.

Briggs explained the training sequence will lead up to a facilitated community conversation on affordable housing that will be led by trainees and organized some time next year.

To help guide the group’s thoughts for future conversations, Busselle shared a document that distilled elements of the Town of North East and Village of Millerton’s Comprehensive Plan into focused areas of consideration.

The Housing Board met most recently on Tuesday, Oct. 12,  at the NorthEast-Millerton Library Annex. Look for a follow-up article on what was discussed at that session in a future issue of The Millerton News.

Meanwhile, sessions are being planned to be held once a month for two hours in the evening, beginning Thursday, Oct. 28. All of the training is being planned to be done via Zoom.

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